Lillian Wilson

The Breathing Cure by Patrick McKeown

Patrick McKeown provides a life-improving breathing guide for a better, healthier and more enjoyable life – 'The Breathing Cure'.

'The Breathing Cure' by Patrick McKeown Book Review

The book has gotten 4.21 ⭐️ on GoodReads.

Many people believe that taking a deep breath increases body oxygenation. The opposite is the case.”
 Patrick McKeown

Breathing is an innate and automatic process making it being overlooked and not being paid attention to. However, due to this carelessness, a lot of us suffer from snoring, sleep apnoea and have our asthma symptoms exacerbated.

The revolutionary book – ‘The Breathing Cure’ by Patrick McKeown – sheds light on the topic of improper breathing and how anyone can improve their life quality ranging from improved physical performance to better sex life and ADHD prevention.

This review will delve into the main insights, recommendations, topics covered, and the author’s credibility, offering a detailed overview of the book’s content.

Author’s background

Patrick McKeown is a highly respected authority in the field of health and breathing, focusing specifically on breathing and sleep. His expertise and passion for breath training stem from personal experience.

Patrick McKeown (r)

Throughout his life, he faced challenges with asthma and relied on medication and inhalers. At the age of 26, he discovered the Buteyko Breathing Method, which provided immediate relief from his asthma symptoms and allowed him to live without asthma.

To deepen his understanding, Patrick travelled to Moscow, Russia, where he studied under the guidance of Dr. Konstantin Buteyko himself. He became accredited to teach the Buteyko Method in 2002, enhancing his credentials and enabling him to share this life-changing breathing technique with others.

Now Patrick is renowned internationally and has established himself as a leading expert in this area. He holds several prominent roles, including being the creator, CEO, and Director of Education and Training at Oxygen Advantage®.

What is the book about?

In the book ‘The Breathing Cure’, McKeown aims to emphasise the importance of the way we breathe and how mouth breathing can negatively affect health. In contrast, nasal breathing is able to alleviate multiple diseases.

The book is divided into three sections:

The 1st section of ‘The Breathing Cure’ familiarises readers with the principles of breathwork by covering information about three aspects of breathing: psychologic, biochemical and biomechanics.

P. McKeown also explains the two pillars of breathwork – functional breathing and breath holding, which are based on learning how to manipulate CO2 and O2 while breathing to achieve optimal health benefits.

It also gives interesting insights into the history of CO2 and how this gas has been used for treatment purposes and is also thought of as being as toxic as uranium.

The 2nd section consists of 26 breathing exercises that target various breathing and health issues. The breath works are very thoroughly described and are backed with pictures and graphs where you can see the amplitude of breath and then it becomes quite intuitive to follow these exercises.

The 3rd section includes nine chapters that explain the scientific background of the effect of breathwork on core stability (functional movement), sleep, pain, children’s development, blood pressure, sex, female hormones throughout the menstrual cycle and life, seizures, and blood sugar regulation. By giving a deep scientific backing, the author again refers to the breathing exercises from the second section, showing how they can be applied practically.

Table of contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction: Are You Breathing Comfortably?
  • Chapter One: A New Approach
  • Chapter Two: Exercises for Adults and Children
  • Section One: Functional Breathing
  • Section Two: Exercises to Stop Symptoms of Asthma, Anxiety, Stress, Racing Mind, and Panic Disorder
  • Section Three: Tailored Breathing Programs for Specific Conditions
  • Section Four: Exercises to Improve Focus and Concentration
  • Section Five: Stress and Relax Body and Mind
  • Section Six: Exercises for Children
  • Chapter Three: How to Breathe
  • Chapter Four: The Vagus Nerve and the Heart-Breath-Brain Connection
  • Chapter Five: Functional Breathing, The Secret of Functional Movement
  • Chapter Six: When Breathing Makes You Hurt
  • Chapter Seven: Sleep-Disordered Breathing
  • Chapter Eight: Developing Healthy Airways in Children
  • Chapter Nine: The Breathing Secret for Healthy Blood Pressure
  • Chapter Ten: Freedom From Respiratory Discomfort
  • Chapter Eleven: Sex and Breath, an Intimate Connection
  • Chapter Twelve: Yes, Breathing Is Different for Women
  • Chapter Thirteen: Female Sex Hormones and the Breath
  • Chapter Fourteen: Sugar, Sugar
  • Chapter Fifteen: Seizure Control and the Breath
  • Chapter Sixteen: Join The Breathing Revolution
  • Chapter Seventeen: Is Nasal Breathing Your First Line of Defense Against Coronavirus?
  • Resources
  • Acknowledgements

Key takeaways from the book

1Proper breathing is of utmost importance for a child’s optimal development

Not only ‘The Breathing Cure’ deals with problems directly connected with breathing disorders like hyperventilation or sleep apnoea but also addresses its importance in cognitive development.

In ‘The Breathing Cure’, the author brings attention to the significant impact of a congested nose on a child’s sleep and its potential ramifications on cognitive disorders like ADD and ADHD. The book stresses the importance for parents to be mindful of their children’s breathing patterns, as nasal obstruction can be a contributing factor to the development of ADD or ADHD. By highlighting this crucial aspect, the author underscores the need for proper breathing practices in promoting optimal development and well-being in children.

2Proper breathing is a key to healthy blood pressure

Healthy blood pressure is one of the guarantees of health and proper nasal breathing can really help one to balance blood pressure levels. The act of breathing through the nose releases hormones that regulate our blood pressure and heart rate as a means of maintaining our bodies’ balance.

The book takes a comprehensive approach to health issues, recognizing that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It explores the correlation between breathing and blood pressure and highlights additional steps that should be considered to improve and maintain healthy blood pressure. These measures include regular exercise, adopting a nutritious diet, and quitting smoking.

3Breath work – an ultimate stress buster

‘The Breathing Cure’ profoundly explains the nature of stress and why constantly being in a flight-or-flight response has detrimental effects on all health aspects.

Practising breathing exercises have been proven to be an excellent stress bustler for centuries. Its ability to promote vagus nerve relaxation, slow down the heartbeat, improve sleep quality and even boost the mood, make breathwork an invaluable cure for stress.

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • The author is highly qualified and credible in the field of breathing and health.

  • The book covers a wide range of topics related to breathing and its impact on health.

  • It presents valuable insights and challenges common beliefs.

  • The author supports their claims with research and references from reputable sources.

  • The writing style is engaging and includes personal stories.


  • The scientific content may be difficult for readers without prior knowledge.

  • Some readers may need to read the book multiple times to fully understand it.

  • The book may appeal more to readers already interested in breathing techniques.

  • The scientific references and information may be overwhelming.

  • The practical recommendations may require further clarification.

Best quotes from ‘The Breathing Cure’

“Clear your blocked nose, stress and relax your nervous system, improve lung function, prepare for competition and more…”
“In terms of the widespread impact on general health, a 1998 study reported that patients with just fourteen common symptoms were responsible for almost half of all primary healthcare visits in the US. Of these complaints, which included abdominal pain, chest pain, headache and back pain, only 10 to 15 percent were found to be the result of organic illness. However, every one of these ailments is recognized as a common symptom of disordered breathing. Put simply, the quality of breathing has significant implications for health and longevity.”

Final takeaway

‘The Breathing Cure’ is a valuable tool for individuals seeking to enhance their breathing and overall health. The book is best suited for people who already have some knowledge about breathing and want to dig deeper into its science and are willing to improve all aspects of their health via proper breathing. With its clear and succinct writing style, along with Patrick McKeown’s extensive knowledge and expertise, this book serves as a crucial manual for those striving to improve their breathing and overall well-being. Highly recommend!

Where to buy

You may purchase ‘The Breathing Cure’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in Kindle, paperback, and audio versions, so you are free to choose the format that suits you best.

Healthypedia FAQ

Proper breathing plays a crucial role in our overall health by ensuring optimal oxygenation, regulating blood pressure, promoting relaxation, and supporting cognitive development. The Breathing Cure highlights the significance of nasal breathing and its impact on various health aspects, including sleep, blood pressure, and stress management.

The Breathing Cure is beneficial for individuals who are interested in understanding the science behind breathing and its effects on health. It is particularly relevant for those seeking solutions to breathing disorders such as snoring, sleep apnea, and asthma. Additionally, parents can gain valuable insights into how breathing affects their children's development, including cognitive functions like focus and attention.

Yes, The Breathing Cure offers a comprehensive range of 26 breathing exercises targeting various health issues. These exercises are accompanied by detailed descriptions, pictures, and graphs, making them easy to follow. The book also delves into the scientific background of each topic, providing a practical understanding of how breathwork can be applied in daily life for improved health and well-being.

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